Entertainment

Steeping in fun

Calgary couple launch tea-based board game after chai-ing time with Kickstarter

After roughly nine months running a popular crowd-funded Kickstarter campaign in Canada, Dan and Connie Kazmaier are preparing to launch “Chai,” their new hit board game. 

“Games are always something you can do as a family, and that’s kind of our vision too, because board games bring people together and tea brings people together,” said Dan Kazmaier.

When the Kickstarter campaign launched, “Chai” had an initial pledge goal of around $25,000. This figure was rapidly exceeded, with total funding now approaching $136,000, contributed from almost 2,600 backers. 

Through hard work a Calgary couple creates a tea board game that focuses on bringing people & communities together. (Photo Courtesy of Dan and Connie Kazmaier) 

Until “Chai”, there were few Canadian family oriented tea-themed board games on the market, thus granting a unique edge to the game, providing a niche that speaks to potential players around the globe. 

“You see the word ‘Chai’ come up when talking about tea in so many different languages, and even various similar words come up all the time. ‘Cha,’ for example, in Chinese, Indian, etc.,” said Kazmaier.

On the first official print run of “Chai,” the Kazmaier team expects to ship 5,000 copies of the game worldwide to their backers, and to a lineup of game stores signing on to stock the game. 

When first starting the development of the game, Kazmaier took his idea to multiple board game conventions and events to play test it, record results, and take in recommendations from play testers to adjust the game. 

“The first versions of the game were totally different, and we made a lot of initial changes after play testing about 1,000 times.”

Kazmair said the board game industry expands by about 10 per cent each year, with an average of about 30 new games being published every day. 

Since “Chai” became popular, Kazmaier has received numerous requests for additional pieces for the game, such as fancy game mats, box art puzzles, and expansion sets.

Kazmaier aims to have the game sent to retail shelves by September 2019, and already began shipping the first copies of “Chia”to his early backers. 

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